MOVIE: Orphan (2009)

I almost went to see this movie last summer while it was still in theaters but decided to wait for DVD after reading one too many “professional” reviews that absolutely panned the hell-o-kitty out of it.

As it turns out, I probably should’ve just gone.  Because this movie, which is, of course, every bit as bad as those reviewers said it was, is also pretty surprisingly entertaining.  (Though it’s true my attitude might not have been this generous had I paid full price for a movie ticket.  THEN AGAIN, my attitude also paid full price for Bad Girls and still walked out of that stinker happy.  And incidentally, before you now declare all my taste to be in my mouth, you may want to note that I think lima beans are delicious.)

Orphan is about a middle-aged couple (sorry, Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard — but you’re not really a “young couple” so I’m not sure what else to call you) who recently lost a baby.  Wanting to give the love they had planned to give their child to another child, they decide to adopt, thinking maybe an older girl might be a good choice.  They go to a local orphanage and meet Esther, a young girl from Russia with remarkable talents for art and music.  Falling in love with her immediately, they soon bring her home to join the family (which also includes their older son Daniel and their deaf little girl Max).

Of course, you can tell from the cover art that this is going to end up going somewhat the way of The Omen, and you are completely right about that.  That said, there was a twist at the end of this film that, regardless of its ridiculousness, I sort of appreciated.  For one thing, it took me by surprise, which is kind of hard to do these days.  And for another, it didn’t have anything to do with the devil or any, like, supernatural magic, and frankly, I found that a refreshing change from the norm here in the bad seed genre.

All in all, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.  And if you’re still not convinced, allow me to also mention that both Vera and Peter take their shirts off in this film — MORE THAN ONCE.

Sold?  I thought so.

[Netflix it | Buy it]

Genre:  Horror
Cast:  Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder

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10 Responses to “MOVIE: Orphan (2009)”

  1. Liz Says:

    Okay, that’s it! Now I feel betrayed! You LIKE lima beans??? That’s almost the ONLY food I really hate!! Oh dear, our tastes are not identical after all. Although I totally agree with you on this movie. It played just like a female “Omen,” and the twist at the end WAS ridiculous (which, BTW, may be the main reason why it surprised you). It was, however, mildly entertaining – in a lame sort of way!

  2. Trip Says:

    I defy you to find anyone who saw that twist coming with complete accuracy, though. You have to at least give props for messing with the audience like that.

    So what’s the official line on brussels sprouts here?

  3. megwood Says:

    Exactly, I totally gave it props for that. It wasn’t really that bad of an idea, all things considered.

    Brussels sprouts — I’ve only had them once and they were pretty good, but not something I actively seek out. I have no idea how they were prepared, but it was in a fancy-pants restaurant and it involved bacon, two things I feel certain were major factors in their deliciousness.

  4. Trip Says:

    Well hell, bacon makes everything better. Bacon and chocolate are proof that God exists and S/He wants us all to be happy.

    You know what else is great? The soundtrack for Mr. Majestyk. Also, the fact that it’s a melon farmer who’s kicking ass. Truly, the 70’s were one of our greatest decades, minus the clothes, of course.

    From wacky orphans to vegetables to groovy 70’s action flicks. Thus ever is Meg’s blog!

  5. Liz Says:

    I happen to LOVE brussels sprouts!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    megwood, you’re an idiot. This movie was brilliant, if you don’t like movies like this, then put your 2 cents somewhere else, moron…

  7. megwood Says:

    Well, there’s that, of course.

    (p.s. I bet that was Peter Sarsgaard.)

  8. Richard Harland Smith Says:

    I was bored by The Orphan. While watching it, I thought about brussels sprouts.

  9. briantoohey Says:

    I agree with you Meg. I caught this last Christmas at my parents’ place over the holidays and totally enjoyed it as a fun, bad, but actually kind-of-well-done movie. Vera is always a good sign, and will uplift any movie she’s in, and the girl playing Esther was actually pretty good as well. Saarsgard I kind of loathe in general, but he worked really well in this. What’s weird is Vera was in another evil child movie with Sam Rockwell called Joshua not two years earlier. Joshua was probably the “better” movie, and I’ll take Rockwell over Saarsgard any day of the week, but Orphan was still the more enjoyable of the two. And I’m also with you about the reveal being slightly ridiculous, but nevertheless also kind of well-done in a bad movie kind of way, and actually refreshing simply for going to a completely different place than every other bad seed movie of the last 25 years or so.

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